Songbook #7

by Mattin




This record was made collectively by:

Lucio Capece: bass clarinet, sampler
Marcel Dickhage: voice, sampler, texts in German
Colin Hacklander: drums
Farahnaz Hatam: computer
Mattin: voice, texts in English
Moor Mother: electronics
Cathleen Schuster: voice, sampler, texts in German

Recorded live at Digging The Global South Festival
on the 2th of November 2017, Stadtgarten, Cologne

Mixed by Mattin, April-July 2018 at the Burger of Christ, Berlin
Mastered and cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin

Special thanks to Thomas Glaesser and Musikfond

Thanks to Anthony Iles, Mirene Arsanios, Federica Bueti, Miguel Prado, Ray Brassier, Samo Tomšič, Lisa Rosendahl, Karolin Meunier, Paweł Nowożycki, David Bremner and Munster Records

Munster Records (Madrid)

Anti-Copyright





Songbook #7 features Farahnaz Hatam, Colin Hacklander, Lucio Capece, Moor Mother, Cathleen Schuster & Marcel Dickhage and was recorded in November 2017 at Digging the Global South Festival in Cologne, while Europe was (still is) slowly going down. Exactly 100 years ago Europe was really crumbling. However, there was a proposition for a collective future in process. This songbook takes two moments as historical inspiration in order to rethink the present:

1) The first seven months of 1917 in revolutionary Russia.

2) The figure of Germaine Berton (pictured on the cover), the anarchist who in 1923 was accused of murdering Marius Plateau, director of the far-right organization French Action League.

In a time of war and fascism, those were two very different answers: a collective attempt at social transformation and a desperate lonely gesture. Neither response really managed to succeed to overthrow capitalism but they had a motivation and a clear way to act, something that seems to be lacking right now. If previous songbooks dealt with the tension between improvisation and song structure, between an emphasis on the production of the moment and having a conceptual framework, here the tension is produced by conflating the present with the past, and in doing so the tension between communism and anarchism is also explored. The tension between the individual and the collective is also present in the making of the record (especially in track 6, a discussion of its own objectives and degrees of success). A review of “Songbook #6” actually took Mattin as the name of the group, which puts into question what Mattin is: just another example of the fiction of selfhood.

“Songbook #7” digs into some of the most important issues today: dissolution and disappointment of the social fabric, the rise of fascism, lack of coherence in a collective vision for the future and the shortcomings of democracy in a capitalist system. These times feel like being stuck in a gif, and here the response is to look for different understandings of time and history.

If you want some musical references you can imagine one of those collaborations between Red Crayola and Art and Language if it was produced by Roberta Settels, or if Rabit was asked to do a remix of Nono’s “La Fabbrica Illuminata”, taking into account the Altoforno di Cornigliano factory’s demolition in 2005. This great line-up tries to think the present through the lenses of radical historical moments and in doing so it achieves a music both arcane and futuristic. Layers of avant-garde tradition culminate into a set of songs that go beyond themselves. In times of increasing desperation here emerges a strange record: a disintegrated manifesto exploring the truth of disagreement.
 



Selected as part The Wire Office Ambience December 2018, #418 (London)

The Wire

Radio Plays:


https://www.raiplayradio.it/audio/2018/10/BATTITI---Avant-folk-f08ba073-e098-4f46-8392-9c834b28c621.html

NENEH CHERRY, Kong, da "Broken Politics" – Smalltown Supersound STS343CD
ORKESTRA OF SPHERES, Omni Omni, da "Mirror" – Fire Records FIRELP535X 
LEE SCRATCH PERRY, Dub At Abbey Road, da "The Black Album" – Upsetter RLSUPSETTER 004CD
BEPPE SCARDINO, One for KD, da "BS 10 Live in Pisa" – Auand AU9079
NATHAN BOWLES, Now If You Remember, da "Plainly Mistaken" – Paradise Of Bachelors PoB-043
JULIE TIPPETTS, Lilies,  da "Sunset Glow" – Disconforme SL DISC 1967 CD
CHROME HILL, Galileo, da "The Explorer" – Clean Feed CF471CD
CHROME HILL, Drunken Sailor, da "The Explorer" – Clean Feed CF471CD
FRODE HALTLI, Trio, da "Avant Folk" – Hubro HUBROCD2604
JESSICA MOSS, Fractals: Truth 3, da "Entanglement" – Constellation CST138
NATHAN BOWLES, Girih Tiles, da "Plainly Mistaken" – Paradise Of Bachelors PoB-043
TORTURETTE feat. TOMMASUKI, Interlude #1, da "Terror" – Musichette Records
PHAROAH CHROMIUM, Une photographie a deux dimensions, da "Jean Genet. Quatre heures à Chatila" – autoprodotto
MATTIN, January, da "Songbook #7" – Munster Records MR386


TheParishNews.com
broadcast on the FM dial on Sound Art Radio in Devon, UK and on Easy Street Radio

+ kbog.org + www.mixcloud.com/TheParishNews/one-hundred-and-eleventh-edition/

Antoine Chessex / Subjectivation / London 2015
Mattin / Songbook 7 / March
Attilio Novellino / A Conscious Effort / False Self Cage
Jlin / Autobiography / Carbon 12
Abbebe Tessemma / The Very Best Of Ethiopiques [Disc 2] / Ashasha Beyew
TONUS / TEXTURE POINT / Point A
Møster! / States of Minds / Sounds like a Planet
Aviva Endean / cinder : ember : ashes / apparition : above
Daweh Congo / Human Rights & Justice / Human Rights & Justice
Y Niwl / Y Niwl / Deg
Brethren of the Free Spirit / The Wolf Also Shall Dwell With the Lamb / The Wolf Also Shall Dwell With the Lamb
Björk / Biophilia / Moon
The Doomed Bird Of Providence / Collision Detection v 7 / In the Terror of the Moment
Add N to (X) / Avant Hard / Skills
Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band / Don’t Stop Me / Calling (Alternate Version)
Dave Young & Lenny Breau / Live At Bourbon Street / I Fall In Love Too Easily
Chris Parmenidis / 8B5C3B++ / 8B5C3b++ (Edit)


Rádio Universitária do Minho: O Dominío dos Deuses
97.5 FM Braga, 05.11.2018, 22.00 - 24.00
www.rum.pt

Hora 2

Jason Forrest
Chase | Fear City | Cock Rock Disco

Jason Forrest
Subdivsion | Fear City | Cock Rock Disco

Jason Forrest
Biker Movies | Fear City | Cock Rock Disco

Jason Forrest
Demon Sun Ram | Fear City | Cock Rock Disco

Mattin
February | Songbook #7 | Munster/Crudités/Insul...

Klara Lewis + Simon Fisher Turner
8 | Care | Mego

Bonaventure
Mentor | Mentor | Planet Mu

M. Geddes Gengras
Nave | Light Pipe | Room40

Keisuke Matsuno, Moritz Baumgärtner + Lars Graugaard
Tomorrow Never Comes | Crush | Clang



Reviews:


toneshift (2018/10/21)

Coming soon from Basque experimenter Mattin is his next Songbook #7 which features Farahnaz Hatam, Colin Hacklander, Lucio Capece, Moor Mother, Cathleen Schuster & Marcel Dickhage. Mattin, who has been making various sounds since ’01 released his first Song Book in 2005. This record takes two historical references as a point of reference: Revolutionary Russia (circa 1917) and anarchist Germaine Burton (who appears on the cover) combining them to respond to, in his words: “dissolution and disappointment of the social fabric, the rise of fascism, lack of coherence in a collective vision for the future and the shortcomings of democracy in a capitalist system. These times feel like being stuck in a gif, and here the response is to look for different understandings of time and history.”

It’s a heavy, heady subject matter to wrap around, but the visual is so striking it makes perfect sense to give this one a very deep listen. Though a specific date has not been set for release, the seven individual tracks here each are dated in succession: 01 January through 07 July. Here’s are a few clips from his previous two, Songbook #5 and Songbook #6:

MR386_inside_lyrics

This begins with a voice that is blurred, distorted, and decomposing by way of frequencies and other electronic means. The voice splits into different forms, new voices are added, transmissions from another world, slowly twisting beyond recognition. I also noticed that the first six tracks here each run at almost exactly seven minutes each, with a longer conclusion. It’s a hazy white noise fusion that harkens to the b-movie feel of bot-like ‘take me to your leader’ futurism. A whirring industrial bottom feeding drone reverberates under your feet as these parties attempt to communicate a message only understood on alternate channels, through the din of static. As track two begins he speaks of revolution, into a dulling silence, that leads into a punky fever of broken frequencies and abstract percussive punctuation. A voice warns, a prepared saxophone blends wildly into the distortion. It’s a wild ride. It’s an on/off again contained chaos of its own making and origin that is one part Crass via The Gerogerigegege -inspired, documentary noise warfare, and the remaining in-between lay bare in a fearless atonality that has no edges as he blurts out something about “There is no freedom….&@)(&)#(&#((^@

MR386_label_A

I’d imagine this would be a fantastic spectacle to see in live performance. If jazz went to Hell and back it might begin to describe the pacing of the players on this record. This lays in that dangerous, obtuse, far-out space normally fit for acts like Nurse With Wound, The Hafler Trio, Terre Thaemlitz, Ultra Red, Lasse Marhaug, etc. Mattin is able to contain and expand upon his devious constructs by truly exploring the outer edge of sensory perception – by bending synths and murmurs back into a tranquil spoken word passage. The sax is moody and effective, as are the animated, wobbly vibes.

In a time of war and fascism, those were two very different answers: a collective attempt at social transformation and a desperate lonely gesture. Neither response really managed to succeed to overthrow capitalism but they had a motivation and a clear way to act, something that seems to be lacking right now. If previous songbooks dealt with the tension between improvisation and song structure, between an emphasis on the production of the moment and having a conceptual framework, here the tension is produced by conflating the present with the past, and in doing so the tension between communism and anarchism is also explored.

MR386_cover

Capitalism is at the core of questioning access to means of production here. It’s an unconventional subject matter, one that in our time you’d imagine more artists would be exploring, but since we are re-re-living the ‘me generation’ in our era of the post-virtual-instant click of satisfaction, it’s hard to estimate the tangible. Mattin delivers a raw, emotive response to our social/political times, rarely heard these days. It’s ultimately such an enjoyable listen, with its endless characterizations, samples, whispers, squiggly sound effects and kitchen-sink approach, there are too many appropriations to speak of, it has to be heard to be believed. It’s an open and closed audio book of sorts, an abstract radio play. His use of silence is notable, mainly because there is so much to digest here, but it’s tailored to curious ears at every turn. Stay ’til the very last breath as you will be lost in a barren synergy between gasps and congas that becoming increasingly dissociative. It brings to bear our international, collective state of consciousness these days, ending with a delayed round of applause.


Touching Extremes  (By Massimo Ricci October 29, 2018)

In a Paris Transatlantic interview from 2009, Mattin pronounced the following words: “Nowadays I’m interested in making records that are more difficult to categorise. People tell me that what I do is too conceptual, that it’s no longer about music, that it’s post-music. But of course it’s about music. Perhaps not the music that you like, but I still play concerts and make records which contain sounds. It’s not about subtraction, as if bringing ideas prevents you from focussing on the music. It’s about adding ideas and concepts in order to explore what could be done without reaffirming or consolidating an established genre of music.

Nothing much has changed nine years later; or, maybe, everything has. The man is obviously conscious of the non-existence of silver linings in today’s sociopolitical clouds. Mattin’s response to the sinking of Europe (see the liner notes) is the politically charged Songbook #7, which – perhaps not coincidentally – comprises seven tracks titled after the first seven months of 1917 in Russia during the revolution. As always with this uncontrollable artist, the name of the game is throwing the listener/reader into a “nothing can be foreseen” frame of mind. The live recording (Cologne, 2017) features an orchestration grounded on a trio of vocalists reciting texts – often electronically disfigured – plus computer, drums, bass clarinet and sampler.

The music’s character is not classifiable, as per Mattin’s aesthetic of fragmentation of all meanings and intentions. This notwithstanding, there’s no question about its involuntary adherence to the rules of an electroacoustic theatre of the unexpected. The lyrics – at times comprehensible, elsewhere a mere chain of deformed robotic utterances – are more functional as an instrumental constituent than a manifesto. The sense of frustration experienced nowadays by every decently sensible being is explicated via cut-throat discharges within patches of extreme stridency, occasionally featuring words pronounced in screaming rage, distorted or less. This radical punkness is balanced by moments of (still tense) quietness – gotta love Lucio Capece’s clarinet lines in “March” – barely decipherable dialogues and even bucolic snapshots like the tweeting birds at the beginning of “July”. Somehow, a few sections evoked the work of composers such as Åke Hodell in this writer’s fantasy. However, this is a classic Mattin album that needs both an internal calibration and a correct mental predisposition; that is to say, no mental predisposition at all. Just catch what is thrown, if you’re able to.

A dramatic realism must not necessarily coincide with lucidity. But it does help us to come closer to that state.


bulletproofsocks (4th November 2018)

According to Mattin's liner notes for this release, '“Songbook #7” digs into some of the most important issues today: dissolution and disappointment of the social fabric, the rise of fascism, lack of coherence in a collective vision for the future and the shortcomings of democracy in a capitalist system.' The sounds assembled hereby (which were recorded live) effectively mirror the lyrical/thematic concept, presenting a - seemingly - incoherent and agonizing mood, with vocals/screams attacking without prior warning, showcasing this insecurity, lack of stability, and absence of strong political bases for the oppressed to lean against. It's quite important that Mattin makes parallels between the first six months of 1917 in pre-October Revolution, Russia, where the emergence of a bourgeois-democratic revolution could not sustain a coherent revolutionary program against war, oppression and reaction, and the presence of a supposedly fully democratic globalized society, where war breaks out everywhere and Islam is being targeted as the enemy of the "civilized world." I am referring to these two words as they are screamed in the second unsettling track in the recording amid screams of something about Lenin. If I could relate the mindset here to a specific quote, that would be from Adorno and Horkheimer in the preface to Dialectic of Enlightenment, where they say that "critical thought, [...] does not call a halt before progress."

Musically, this is a combination of spoken words with enveloping ambient/noise electronics (track 4 starts with an impressive manipulation of what sounds a field recording of crow), free jazz/avantgarde/atonal breakouts on clarinet. Though I could parallel this journey to what recent Faust are doing, there is too much breadth and exploration for a listener to pay attention to, something that can't be encapsulated in a short review. The good thing is that Mattin has made this available for free on his bandcamp, so you can go over there and be immersed in this weird ocean of sounds. 2018 lp due on Munster Records.